Assignment 4 - California Part 2


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Assignment 4 - California Part 2

  1. 1. Tadd Mannino<br />History 141, Spring 2011<br />Palomar College<br />Panama & LA:The Waterworks That made the American West<br />
  2. 2. A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!The French Attempt<br />1879 - French envision a sea level canal<br />Success seems assured after 110 mile Suez Canal, 1869<br />1880 - Ferdinand de Lessups begins work<br />Visionary, but no engineer experience<br />Jules Verne: “He has the genius of will”<br />Plagued by rain, mudslides, 120° temp<br />Typhoid, Malaria, Small Pox, Yellow Fever<br />De Lessups undeterred<br />“When problems arise, men of genius<br />will solve them. Science will find a way.”<br />Frenchmen volunteer out of national pride<br />1889 – project fails due to finances, 75% mortality rate (22,000), with only 1/3 complete<br />
  3. 3. A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!American Interest<br />1901 – Theodore Roosevelt takes office<br />Envisions US dominance of Americas<br />Panama Canal will ensure naval dominance<br />1903 – Treaty ceding canal zone to US from Columbia signed<br />Not ratified by Columbia<br />“Columbian Revolution” – Panamanian separatists seize control<br />With backing of US business men and a US gunboat<br />1904 – Work begins on US project<br />
  4. 4. A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!The Big Ditch<br />John Frank Stevens ends sea level plans<br />Dammed rivers/lakes and locks more feasible<br />Ships raised 85 ft., transit and return to sea level<br />First built infrastructure needed<br />Railroads, housing, medical facilities, proper sanitation<br />Disease, especially Yellow Fever gone by 1905<br />American engineers innovative, French computational<br />Machinery used on massive scale<br />Locomotives, steam shovels, cranes, rock crushers, cement mixers, dredges, pneumatic power drills all new technology<br />Culebra Cut, Gatun Dam finished<br />Provides hydro electric power to operate Canal<br />
  5. 5. A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!<br />US effort brought together knowledge/experience of:<br />Railroad technology, hygiene, electrical engineering<br />Canal saves 8000 miles of sea transit<br />An Engineering marvel, even today<br />Much original eqpt. still in use<br />15,000 ships/year<br />US Cedes Canal to Panama<br />12/31/1999<br />
  6. 6. Mulholland’s Dream<br />Wm. Mullholland, Director of LA Dept. of Water<br />Vision to “Develop the rivers & water supply for the benefit of the people.”<br />LA growth impeded by lack of water<br />Views Owens Lake/River as LA water supply<br />108 sq. mi. lake some 250 miles from LA<br />Gravity feed to LA, downhill all the way<br />1905 – LA Water Dept. begins acquiring land<br />Controversy to this day over how land rights acquired<br />LA Times publishers, LA bigwigs aware of project buy up land<br />Many Owen’s Valley farmers paid well for land<br />Wm. Mullholland<br />
  7. 7. Mulholland’s Dream<br />LA voters approve $23 million bond<br />1908 – Construction begins<br />5000 workers<br />Many ethnic groups - Greek, Bulgarian, Serb, Montenegrin, Swiss, and Mexican flock to good wages, long term work<br />Workers received shelter, food and medical care<br />Hard, grueling work<br />226 mi. of aqueduct, 120 mi. railroad, two dams w/ hydroelectric, 170 mi. power lines, 240 mi. telephone line, a cement plant, and 500 mi of roads<br />Six million pounds of TNT used w/only 5 fatalities<br />
  8. 8. Mulholland’s Dream<br />11/5/1913 – Opening of LA Aqueduct<br />Ahead of schedule, under budget<br />30,000 people gather at Cascades<br />“This rude platform is an altar, and on it we are here consecrating this water supply and dedicating the Aqueduct to you and your children and your children’s children-for all time.” Wm. Mullholland<br />Gates opened, water flows,<br /> hundreds race to dip cups<br /> and drink from the flow<br />1920s – LA grows 11X faster<br /> than NYC<br />
  9. 9. Mulholland’s Dream<br />Unforeseen consequences<br />Owens Lake dry by 1924<br />Farming impossible, migratory birds lose flyover, dust<br />Some Owens Valley residents try to reverse project<br />Some sabotage, all unsuccessful<br />1928 – St. Francis dam fails, 450 killed<br />Worst engineering disaster of 20th century<br />Mullholland resigns in disgrace<br />His vision and aqueduct influenced Ca. like no other public works project<br />